Surprisingly (at least to me) the Christian Science Monitor has a very good article about a guy that cut his electric useage by 2/3rd, so I figure that even if you don’t do everything he did you should be able to cut yours in 1/2!
Personally I’ve already done everything on this list, and then some, and as a result our electric bills are less than people we know whose houses are smaller than half our home’s size. I’m telling you, these tips work!
Here are some choice quotes from the article:
When high school science teacher Ray Janke bought a home in Chicopee, Mass., he decided to see how much he could save on his electric bill. He exchanged incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents, put switches and surge protectors on his electronic equipment to reduce the “phantom load” – the trickle consumption even when electronic equipment is off – and bought energy-efficient appliances.
Two things happened: He saw a two-thirds reduction in his electric bill, and he found himself under audit by Mass Electric. The company thought he’d tampered with his meter. “They couldn’t believe I was using so little,” he says.
Mr. Janke had hit on what experts say is perhaps the easiest and most cost-effective place to reduce one’s energy consumption: home.
Cutting back on electricity used for lighting (9 percent of residential usage nationwide) presents the quickest savings-to-effort ratio. The EPA estimates that changing only 25 percent of your home’s bulbs can cut a lighting bill in half. Incandescent bulbs waste 90 percent of their energy as heat, and compact fluorescents, which can be up to five times more efficient, last years longer as well.
Second stop, kitchen appliances, which consume 27 percent of the average US household’s electricity. More than half of that goes to your refrigerator. So “any fridge over 10 years old is worth changing,” says Henry Gifford, a New York-based mechanical system designer. “And no, don’t put it in the basement and plug it in and leave it there.” Get rid of it.
For the reasons mentioned above, using electricity for water and space heating, which accounts for 19 percent of home electrical use nationwide, should be avoided. “One of the worst things you can do with electricity is use it to make heat,” says Alexander MacFarlane…
Ideally, all appliances should be exchanged for those bearing the EPA’s Energy Star seal. Plugging electronics into power strips, which can then be turned off, will decrease “phantom loads” and further increase savings. (Transformers inside electrical equipment convert your wall socket’s alternating current to the direct current electrical devices use to function. Even in “off” position, they often continue to draw small amounts of electricity.)
Go ahead and check out the entire article here. The US government has a home energy saver calculator at: hes.lbl.gov . The Energy Star program website: www.energystar.gov. For tips on sealing your home, go to: www.energyconservatory.com.